tv At This Hour With Berman and Michaela CNN August 1, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT
ebl, everyone, i'm john berman. michaela is off today. we want to get straight away to the breaking news. the cease-fire blown to pieces. now an israeli soldier in the hands of hamas. this started 90 minutes into what was supposed to be a 27 -- 72-hour truce. two israeli soldiers were killed, one was captured. shelling and rocket fire ejuptd between the two sides. health officials in gaza say an israeli attack in rafah killed at least 40 people and wounded more than 250. each side blaming the other for violating the cease-fire. right now, we want to bring in our karl penhaul who is live in gaza, also wolf blitzer joins us in jerusalem. karl, we want to start with you because gaza is the battlefield
in this conflict. what are you seeing right now? >> reporter: it is a battlefield, john, and just as you've bringing me to air, i can hear in eastern gads the sound of heavy shelling. if you like, i can take a picture of that. i can see plumes of smoke on the horizon in east gaza. we were there this morning two and half hours into the cease-fire and at that point we saw a number of israeli tanks maneuvering and we heard them fire at least three tank rounds into buildings close by. the sound i'm hearing now sounds much louder than israeli tanks. it sounds like the pounding of israeli heavy artillery. we also know that the focus of events right now is down in southern gaza, down near the border crossing with egypt, the town of rafah and there according to palestinian health ministry they are now confirming 40 people kileds and more than 250 people wounded in what they say was shelling by israeli
military. that shelling was directed at a market place and an area outside the hospital. we also understand that those two incidents occurred around 9:30 local time, that's 90 minutes into the cease-fire that was more or less at the same time -- that was more or less at the same time that the confrontation between hamas fighters and israeli soldiers was occurring at a spot about a mile away. i'm just taking the picture in to the smoke there on the horizon, just across in eastern gaza. that is the area where we were this morning, but from our understanding, the combat is much more intense even at this moment down in the south of gaza. we are also hearing reports from people who have received phone calls, automated phone calls down in rafah. they are being told to stay inside for their own protection.
we've also got just in the last few moments, john, a statement from the brigades, the military wing of hamas, of stating that israel broke the intended cease-fire. in fact, hamas is saying that israeli troops tried to advance close to the town of rafah before the cease-fire started. that led to a fire fight. interestingly enough, they make no mention of the capture of an israeli soldier, that raises to me two questions. does it mean that hamas is trying to get that soldier to a secure location before they claim responsibility or does it raise t possibility that another militant faction may have taken that soldier priso r prisoner? we do know that islamic jihad also operates in that area and they do operate in coordination with the other militant factions in gaza, john.
>> those are key questions, john. it is stunning and tragic in many ways that we're seeing these smoke plumes over gaza. we're not even 24 hours into what was supposed to be a three-day cease-fire and not only is there no cease-fire and there's every reason to believe the situation is significantly worse than when this cease-fire was set to begin. we got the palestinian angle, the angle from hamas, from karl penhaul in gaza. i want to go to wolf blitzer in jerusalem. you've been speaking with high-level israeli officials all morning. what did they say happened and what do they say is going to happen now? >> what they say happened is that hamas, they say, clearly violated the cease-fire, about 90 minutes into the cease-fire was supposed to go into effect around 8:00 a.m. local time. around 9:30, hamas gauge israeli
troops. the israeli troops according to idf, they were doing what was allowed, permissible to do during the course of the 72-hour cease-fire. they were dealing with what they call the demissioning of these tunnels, that go from gaza into israel and they point to a staple that secretary of state john kerry made last night in new delhi when he specifically said, israel will be able to continue its defensive operations for tunnels behind its lines. and the israelis say that they were behind their lines, they were continuing their operations. they say defensive operations. according to the agreement for the cease-fire, when all of a sudden hamas militants came through and one of them had a suicide vest, they say, kills two israeli soldiers, one soldier was captured and taken prisoner by hamas. so they are clearly blaming hamas for this and as a result of that israel launched what is clearly a massive operation in
that rafah area, in the southern part of gaza. a lot of palestinians so far have been killed. israeli official are mincing no words. they say they are looking for this israeli soldier. they are going house to house. it's a massive operation. they want to find him and they say they are going to do whatever it takes to find this soldier and bring him back to israel. we'll see how that goes. it's a source clearly of concern. it's clearly escalated what was obviously horrible to begin with. it's about to get even worse. >> we're looking at live pictures, wolf, near gaza city of smoke plumes. clearly there's been shelling there, bombing, that i think that pales in comparison what's going on in rafah, the epicenter of this conflict, where the israeli soldier was captured by hamas militants. the united nations says they can't independently confirm which side of the story is correct, but they do say that if
israel's side of it is true, that this soldier was captured in this fight in the tunnels, then it would be condemned in the strongest terms. it would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian cease-fire. israel in the past has gone to great ends to recover any soldier left behind on the battlefield, whether killed or captured. what do you expect will happen next? >> they are going to do whatever they can to get this soldier back. 23-year-old young israeli lieutenant, they are going to try to find him, bring him back. it's unclear to me. i know that some experts don't think israel is going to engage in negotiation as they did for the other israeli soldier that was captured back in 2006. once again through a tunnel, brought back to gaza, held for five years, eventually the israelis released more than 1,000 palestinian prisoners in exchange for him who is now living in israel. there's been a great deal of opposition to that within israel
since then. they say these kind of lopsided prads only encourage israel's enemies to go ahead and capture and kidnap other israelis, whether soldiers or civilians, they don't want do it anymore, we'll see what happens because there is this great desire that they always should bring back young israeli military personnel and they have done it for so many years. they have engage in these negotiations that have resulted in these lopsided trades. >> wolf, in jerusalem, thanks so much. we're going to check back in with you at the bottom of the hour because a lot could happen between now and then. just the tell you the name of the israeli officer now believed to be in the hands of hamas, second lieutenant hadar goldin. >> the palestinian permanent observers of the united nations told us earlier he did not have any information about this soldier. it's absurd for israel top blame hamas for the carnage in gaza.
>> those who are responsible for the tragedy of the people in gaza, is the israeli forces. they are the ones who are injuring the palestinians, displacing them, attacking schools and so on and so forth. they are the ones attacking the hospitals. so therefore to try to flip the story that hamas is responsible for that is so absurd, the spokesperson who said we can't trust hamas. it was his government that negotiated a cease-fire in the year 2012 and it was in place for two years. >> now, you heard wolf blitzer say a short time ago this completely changes the equation in gaza in this fighting. earlier, wolf spoke to mark regev. listen to what he said. >> our goal is to achieve peace and quiet for the people of israeli and end rocket fire and terrorist tunnels. so far, hamas has closed the
door, slammed the door shut on any sort of diplomatic solution. i thri ns no doubt that what hams has done today is not only under mined the chances ever a humanitarian cease-fire, it has led to a very dangerous escalation. >> the last time hamas took a soldier prisoner, israel responded immediately. hamas held him for five years and there was a very large prisoner exchange. wolf says his sources indicate it's unlikely to occur again. blame flying on both sides as the violence erupts in gaza just 90 minutes after that cease-fire was put in place. we are going to bring you perspective from both israelis and palestinians next. ♪
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this just in to cnn, we have a new statement from secretary of state john kerry on the situation in gaza. again, the israeli military says an israeli soldier has been captured by hamas militants. this statement just in, a paper statement from the secretary of state. he says the united states condemns in the strongest possible terms today's attack which led to the killing of two israeli soldiers and the abduction of another. it was an outrageous violation of the cease-fire negotiated over the past several days and the assurances given to the united states and the united nations. again, he goes on to say that this soldier who was captured should be released immediately. i want to bring in right now james o ash an abdi.
this planned 72-hour cease-fire was design to give food, water, medical supplies to the people of gaza. if it was hamas that violated the cease-fire has the secretary of state just said and a suicide bombing in a tunnel as israel claims, if that is the case, did hamas squander an opportunity for the people of gaza. >> i don't think we know exactly what happened, but i think of those japanese soldiers in world war ii years afterwards coming out of hiding and thinking the war was still going on. these are guys in a tunnel. there's no power in gaza. phones are died and communications have been severed. did they know there was a cease-fire? i don't know that. number two. i think it was a mistake for this cease-fire agreement to continue to allow israel what they call defensive but surely to people in gaza remain offensive actions in the tunnels. this issue should have been left to the end of the negotiations, when you have armed israelis entering tunnels or continuing
to destroy tunnels and people come out of the tunnels, that is an act of war and people continue to fight, and it is a terrible tragedy that two israelis died and one was kidnapped, but even the bible says an eye to eye. limited to that. not 40 eyes for one eye. so this can only be viewed as a collective punishment. 40 people who nothing to do with the kidnapping, nothing to do with the suicide bombing, simply out of revenge or anger or frustration is a horrible acceleration of this conflict and certainly doesn't help us get back to the point where we can have a dialog about how to end this. >> you bring up a number of excellent points, including whether this cease-fire agreement was flimsy to begin with and we're going to about that with another guest in a little bit. i want to focus on hamas right now. you bring up the possibility whoever was in the tunnel, if there was an altercation in the
tunnel with israeli soldiers may not have known the details of this cease-fire. it raises the question, is there a breakdown in the power structure between the political swing of hamas which is spread out between doha and egypt and syria and lord knows where else, is there a break down between the political wing and the military fighter still inside gaza. >> that has been israel's intent in the beginning. in the west bank, after the three boys were kidnapped, israel arrested almost 400 hamas leaders and is holding them right now in communicado simply on the basis of their association with the organization. a couple of them have actually died. we know the names of the israelis who died. we don't always know the names of palestinians who have died. we don't know what's happened to
the hamas structure but i think it certainly has been impacted and there are more groups in gaza operating than just hamas, and so to assume a centralized command and control and that these guys came out as a deliberate act on the part of hamas, israel may find that legitimate justification for their act of revenge now and collective punish many but i don't think it holds up that this was a deliberate act to provoke and therefore civilians who are dying in the wake of this as you can see on the screen right now, this massive assault on gaza city which had nothing to do with the kidnapping, it took place in rafah way in the south, i mean this is a situation where i think they were looking for justification and they found it, but i don't think it holds up, and it's a tragedy for everybody at this point. >> you point out we're looking at live pictures right now of this conflict raging in gaza right now and the picture speaks for itself. there is no cease-fire. this 72-hour cease-fire lasted
exactly 90 minutes. to an extent, is the palestinian leaders, the state of palestine, the government of mahmoud abbas are they taken seriously right now inside gaza? >> i don't know, but what i do know that the hamas leadership as it is outside deferred to president abbas which is something they hadn't done before and allowed a palestinian authority leadership to organize the cease-fire talks in egypt. that was, i think, an important step forward. israel has not wanted to support a unified palestinian leadership but in recognizing this cease-fire, they did in fact acknowledge that, and the palestinians had a chance of doing it. i don't know again what happened in that tunnel. i do think it sounds a bit
suspicious, and certainly does not justify what we're seeing play out right now, and the best thing for everybody to do is not -- unfortunately, i don't want to criticize the secretary's statement at this early point, i think we ought to be holding our breath a little bit and not pointing fingers. it's not helpful and i think it actually ends up putting america in a position where we lose the ability to bring the parties together. >> james, great to have you with us. i hope we get to speak in happier times ahead. >> i hope so too. >> ahead for us at this hour, the violence erupting in gaza, we've been looking at the live pictures smoke pillow -- billowing over this area. how far will israel take it? we're going to talk about that next. ♪
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back to breaking news "@this hour," the shattered cease-fire in the middle. palestinian officials say at least 40 people killed and dozens more wounded when israel shelled southern gaza. israelis mourning the death of two of their soldiers and fearful for another soldier who was captured. we've been hearing from palestinians representatives all morning who suggest in their words that israeli troops were going beyond the cease-fire agreement with their work in the tunnels. now, we do not know what went on in those tunnels to be sure exactly at this point. but given that there was a 72-hour cease-fire with a mission to get humanitarian aid to the people of gaza, was this
work in the tunnel, was it provocative, would you say? >> i think absolutely. i think we need to look at it within the larger picture. this is the sixth cease-fire that hamas has breached. five times israel came to a cease-fire with hamas, five times the hamas fired missiles during that cease-fire. now they created a sixth cease-fire which was brokered by the united nations and the united states government. one which came into effect this morning 8:00 in the morning, within one hour after the cease-fire came into effect, militant hamas members emerged from a tunnel, kill two of our soldiers and kidnapped a third. the hamas is making it very clear they are not interested in cease-fire and they want to continue with the war. we need to understand that with every woman and child that's killed in gaza -- that creates political capital for the hamas and monetary support. each photo of a child that was
tragically wounded benefits the hamas to a greater extent. they don't want a cease-fire and i think israel's choice in the situation is to continue the current offensive until the hamas leadership is broken and completely routed from gaza. >> there is great outrage in israel right now for what seems to be the capture of an israeli soldier, an officer right now, in that tunnel. we just heard from someone from t the. isn't this an eye for eye? in his eyes, there's something of a moral equivalent, what do you say to that? >> i do not believe that the israeli response which took place after the death of our two soldiers and the kidnapping of a third was just an act of revenge. i believe it's a continuation of an operation to debilitate the ability of the hamas to continue firing rockets on our civilian
population. now, over the last 15 days, more than 2,600 rockets have been fired at israeli civilians. imagine if where you live, you have 200 rockets a day raining down on your civilian populations and the fact that we have an iron dome which prevents most of these rockets isn't something we need to apologize about. the fact that many more palestinians than israelis have been occurred and -- injured and killed in this current engagement is not something that -- i don't think we should be playing the numbers game here. it's not just about numbers. there is a moral high ground. hamas is firing at israel from civilian populations, surrounded by women and children and israel then -- >> sir, you suggested yourself that from a public relations perk, hamas benefits from the pictures of women and children suffering. so when israel continues these attacks and bombing that hit
u.n. schools and facilities where civilians lives, does it work against israel's purposes? are you only making the situation worse? are you only making palestinians who might not support hams hamas, are you driving them toward hamas? >> i think at the moment. israel has no choice. they have to debilitate hamas. hamas is firing rockets from residential neighborhoods, when israel retal yates, people are injured. hamas sends those pictures around the world to secure support, monetary donations. the hamas organization is the worst thing that ever happened to palestinians in gaza. as soon as they came to power, they took letters in the plo, shot them in the knees, threw them off the buildings. they conquered gaza from force. there is no freedom of expression, freedom of religion,
no freedom of press. so the palestinian people themselves are being oppressed by this evil organization which is now firing rockets systemically at civilian populations in israel. i think it's in the palestinians best interest and israel's best interests to continue this this action until hamas is completely routed from gaza. we're going to have more on the escalating crisis just ahead. secretary of state john kerry just released a statement condemning the killing and capture of an israeli soldier. we will have a live report just ahead. when folks think about what they get from alaska, they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country,
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breaking news at this hour, the middle east cease-fire in tatters, an israeli soldier now in the hands of hamas. the dramatic escalation started 90 minutes into what was supposed to be a 27 -- 72-hour cease-fire. suicide bombers attacked israeli troops trying to destroy a tunnel. two soldiers were killed and one captured. health officials in gaza, an israeli attack in rafah killed 40 people and injured more than 250. they expect that death toll to rise as more bodies are pulled from the rubble. this was supposed to be a
72-hour cease-fire. a cease-fire broker by the united nations and the united states. secretary of state john kerry who had been working hard to achieve some kind of cease-fire, i want to go now to elise labbot. not only is there no cease-fire but the situation could be much more than when the cease-fire began. what are we hearing from secretary kerry now? >> that's right, john, and in the days leading up to the cease-fire, you kind of heard the u.s. putting the pressure on israel about the civilian deaths and casualties, but today an unequivocal statement by the united states and secretary of state kerry. saying the united states condemns the strongest possible terms of today's attack which led to the killing of two israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another. it is an outrageous of the violation of the cease-fire negotiated over the past several days and the assurances given by the united states and nuntd.
hamas must immediately and unconditionally release the missing israeli soldier. the united states is bracing for what they expect to be a very heavy handed israeli response. in his statement, the secretary also says it would be a tragedy of this outrage attack leads to more suffering and loss of life on both sides of this conflict, and i think that the united states is not publicly calling on israel to exercise restraint, given what's happened in this violation of the cease-fire, but clearly the u.n. bracing for a very heavy handed response from the israelis. >> there had been a lot of pressure from the united states to bring israel to the table. does this perhaps reduce the influence the u.s. will have going forward in trying to get israel to talk peace? >> it's my understanding from talking to my sources that secretary kerry was extremely
tough with prime minister netanyahu in the last 48 hours or so trying to get him to accept the cease-fire. i do think there's always been this question how much influence does the u.s. have on israel at various stages of the conflict. over the last several years, you've seen that influence wane and i think right now the israelis are going to take care of business in the way that they see fit and u.s. influence is probably not going to really have much to say at this point, john. >> that's a fascinating point. we're going to take up that point ahead "@this hour" with middle east tensions getting higher than they have ever been. has the u.s. lost whatever influence it had in the region? we'll discuss next.
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>> we certainly will be working with our partners, u.n., and other interested parties who have been trying to broker this agreement about what the next steps are. there should be no mistake that the israeli soldier who has been taken captive should be return unharmed and immediately. >> i want to bring in a former obama campaign policy adviser and a former u.n. and state department official as well. secretary kerry he worked hard what was supposed to be a 72-hour cease-fire yet when the israelis finally agreed to this, 90 minutes in, they had a soldier captured. so does this hurt u.s. credibility with the israelis now, make it harder perhaps for the u.s. to exert any pressure? >> this isn't the u.s.'s fault. in fact the u.s. really achieved a major success here. nobody thought kerry could achieve a cease-fire this quickly, so it was an important success, but unfortunately it only lasted 90 days, the two
sides have managed to seize war from the jaws of peace is unfortunate. the real question, really have the authority and ability to control the militants in gaza? if there's no loyalty, no hierarchy anymore to the militants and the leaders condition speak on their behalf, they really can't enter into a lasting cease-fire. >> david, you know, i think we all applaud any efforts toward peace but if this is success at this point, you know, a cease-fire blown up 90 minutes in it, an israeli soldier captured, more bombing with more at this point, if that's illed - success, that's a serious problem going forward and i want to talk about the parameters of this deal, because i've been listening to both sides arguing that the israelis violated the cease-fire by going into the tunnels and the israelis say not at all. that the parameters of this deal
allowed us to be in these tunnels. without getting into who was right and who was wrong because we weren't there, does the mere fact that this disagreement exists suggests that there was too much ambiguity in the deal to begin with? >> well, of course there has to be some ambiguity because the battlefield is very complicated. the tunnels were part of the agreement. israel did have the right to continue to destroy the tunnels but obviously had the obligation not to harm civilians to the extent it could do so, and the tunnels are a provocation, specifically the tunnels that go into israel and violate israeli israel's sovereignty. the cease-fire is difficult to maintain. but the fact that the parties agreed to one is an accomplish. . the real problem is the people on the ground are not following the leadership. >> what do you expect the united states to do next? do you expect the united states to perhaps back off on some of the pressure it had been exerting on israel to get to the
table, give prime minister benjamin netanyahu more leeway to gather out the mission the way he has been? >> i think there has to be some more clarity on this soldier who was captured. we need more details on that. the u.s. is waiting to find out more information. unfortunately, if an israeli soldier has been captured, hamas will probably think it has more leverage. israel will not view the situation that way. so that's a key thing. but after we figure out those details, my expectation is the state department led by secretary kerry will continue to put pressures obboth sides and trying to get to a cease-fire as quickly as possible, again. >> thank you so much for being with us. i appreciate your insight on this. >> thank you. >> coming up for us, in some cases, the arab nations in the region have been silent or much more silent than usual in the conflict in gaza. will this new round of fresh escalating violence help them find their voice?
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little public support from other key arab nations. our brian todd takes a look at the reasons behind this silence. >> reporter: just two years, hamas leader embraces the egypt president mohammed mrsi. a powerful symbol for them. a deeply concerning image for israel. that has now fallen apart. after tossing morsi out, across the world, the leaders of saudi arabia, jordan are look the other way, leaving hamas alone. >> if israel beats them up, well and good. >> none of those arab leaders would ever publicly support israel but none are defending
hamas in this battle. our efforts to get their viewpoint met with stoned silence. hamas' readiness to cause a great deal of suffering clearly showing hamas is responsible and on egyptian tv commentators don't holdback in in blasting hamas. >> translator: you make us nauseous. the whole world goes to hell because of you. >> reporter: hamas seen by many in the arab world as an extension of the muslim brotherhood, which the leaders of egypt, the uae, jordan and saudi arabia have been battling against for years. >> the muslim brotherhood/hamas succeeds in gaza, the question will be, why can't they take over the gulf states or egypt. >> reporter: what those regimes really fear is democracy. hamas and the muslim brotherhood won power in actual elections. >> they have been part of these
uprisings, revolts, all around the region in egypt, in tunisia and elsewhere, for democratic reform. and they certainly don't want to see that kind of reform happen in their own countries, because they're worried about maintaining their own regimes. >> brian todd is with us now from washington. brian, almost on cue, seconds before we ran your peace, we did get a statement from the king of saudi arabia, king abdullah, who was condemning the violence and the suffering of the palestinian people in gaza. he called it crimes against humanity. but among other things, he blames state-sponsored terrorism, and certainly gave no word of support for hamas. it would be very interesting to see what we hear from some of these arab nations, now that this cease-fire was broken. >> that's right, john. in the coming days, we're going to be watching that closely. if there's an escalation of this, analysts are telling me, if the israelis large a mass incursion into gaza, and this
really escalates, maybe if there's a singular israeli strike that causes mass civilian casualties, you're going to see even stronger protests from those arab powers. now, there is a distinguished, there is a distinction being made between -- with analysts who say these powers really don't like hamas but they do -- they do express solidarity with the palestinian people and the palestinian cause. but it's hamas that they don't like. so the saudi king in that statement, as you mentioned, he didn't really say anything about hamas, but he is expressing solidarity with the palestinian people. that may be, john, how they make that distinction in the coming days. >> walking a very fine line. brian todd, thank you so much. ahead for us "at this hour," they are the smallest victim, of the violence in gaza. the children and they're fighting for their lives as the race to treat their wounds begins. that's next. but first, the biggest surge in undocumented children crossing into the united states is coming from central america, including guatemala.
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youngest victim, of this gaza conflict are children fighting for their lives as their families try to get them to a hospital. >> reporter: 3-year-old rhonda al shara has burns over 50% of her body. she doesn't know her mother, brother, and grandfather are dead, killed in the same israeli air strike that wounded her. yet rhonda is considered lucky.
she's out of gaza. [ child crying ] the images of dead and wounded children in gaza have shocked many. these images get far less attention. victims israel has allowed out of gaza to be treated in israeli and palestinian hospitals where the care and their chances for survival are better. but to get here, the wounded rick their li risk their lives a second time in a dangerous ambulance ride across the front lines. as you can see, this is a very busy place. there are over a dozen children being treated here and more keep arriving. but those numbers are far lower than expected. >> we expected hundreds of cases but we only got a couple dozen cases. >> reporter: to understand why, you have to understand a process that is bewildering even for those involved. how children are chosen. first, they are selected by doctors in gaza, approved by the
palestinian authority, and coordinated with the international red cross. but none can come without israel's final say. this 14-year-old lies in a coma after her bedroom was struck. in a complicated process, only she was to come. her fearful family in gaza gets updates other the phone. 1-month-old abdel-rahman needs possible heart surgery. the infant was allowed, but not his mother. her paperwork was out of date. the boy's aunt believes israel only granted permission for the child out of guilt. abdel's brother was one of four boys killed on a gaza beach by israeli artillery. "they gave him life because they took a life," she says. despite more than 8,000 wounded in gaza, only 60 have come to israel. each side blames the other for the pitfully low number.
and for a bureaucracy so badly twisted by war, only it can consider a badly burned motherless 3-year-old lucky. martin savidge, cnn, jerusalem. >> caught in the middle. thanks for joining us "at this hour." "legal view" with jim sciutto starts right now. >> hello, everyone, i'm jim sciutto in for ashleigh banfield again today. it is friday, august 1st. welcome to "legal view." right now, humanitarian cease-fire in gaza should be 11 hours old with at least 61 hours to go. instead, secretary of state john kerry who helped broker the truce, along with the u.n., is condemning what he calls, quote, an outrageous violation by hamas. as you know, if you've been watching cnn, the lull lasted barely the 90 minutes, an hour asd a half.